Use Word Of Mouth To Increase Booth Traffic Before, During And After The Show
There are many ways to increase booth traffic in your exhibit, from a Spin and Win wheel to a celebrity guest. But these (and all the others) have varying degrees of effectiveness, and they come with a cost—sometimes a hefty cost.
What doesn’t cost much, but can be worth its weight in gold, is word of mouth. Social media platforms like Yelp demonstrate that personal recommendations can be extremely helpful in building business.
Well, assuming visitors to your exhibit have a positive experience while they’re with you, they’re more likely to spread the word about your booth. Let’s talk about how to make this happen before, during and after the show.
Before The Show:
Believe it or not, you can start the process to increase booth traffic well in advance of the show’s opening. In fact, studies suggest that as many as three quarters of all show attendees have made choices in advance of the event as to which trade show booths they want to visit. So getting on their lists is imperative.
Start by sharing on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, offering highlights of what will be taking place in your exhibit. You can post photos of your exhibit in the process of being constructed on Facebook or Pinterest. Create a story around selecting the perfect premium item for the show and share it on YouTube.
Tweet about promotions that will be taking place in the booth – and tell them to stop by to charge their phone in your booth!
Use LinkedIn to tell prospects about someone from your company taking part in a panel discussion at the show. On Twitter, you can use keywords related to your industry or the show itself as hashtags to get your tweets in front of your target audience.
Almost universally these days, shows use a hashtag (usually the show name) to send messages to exhibitors and attendees alike. If you follow these hashtags, you can chime in to let others know what’s going on in your exhibit, and why they should show up.
Of course, just as with traditional media, it helps to have a newsworthy topic to promote. Think about what will make your exhibit unique: a new product introduction, a contest, show times for a live presentation, product demo schedules, appearances by executives, when that panel discussion is happening, etc.
During The Show:
Don’t forget to take time during the show to keep up with those messages I mentioned above. Tweeting fifteen minutes before your top executive will be in your exhibit will give prospects a chance to get there to ask a question or hear his or her presentation.
You can also share video and still photography from your booth during the event. Facebook and YouTube are great places for this kind of promotional activity. Post video interviews with each of your booth staffers. Entice your prospects by showing them what’s going on in the booth (especially if you have something “live” happening, like product demos, a presentation, a contest or a great premium item).
Another way to increase booth traffic is to give them a reason to stop by your exhibit. For example, if they take a photo of your booth’s product demo and post it to Facebook, they’ll receive one of your giveaways.
Or make it a bit tougher: if you’re promoting your display elsewhere in the exhibit hall, make finding that banner or ad (and posting it on social media) the key to receiving the premium.
In both cases, they’ll have to stop by your booth to receive the swag. This gives your booth staffers an opportunity to engage them in conversation.
After The Show:
Of course, you can’t increase booth traffic after the show is over. But you can make your exhibit memorable by creating a story for attendees to tell long after the show is over.
Face it: if your booth looks and feels like every other exhibit at the show, you won’t be remembered. It helps to think outside the box and do something that makes your exhibiting efforts stand out in the minds of show visitors.
This “story” you’ll want attendees to remember will start with your exhibit itself. A cookie cutter display won’t make you memorable. But a customized booth will allow you to design an experience visitors can recall after they leave the exhibit—and the show. So talk with us and let us help you create a memorable trade show booth.
Once you have a booth that can help attendees remember who you are, you’ll want to do something in that exhibit that will continue to promote your memorability. This is where an entertaining and educational live presentation can help. Or a compelling product demo. Or well-trained, courteous and professional booth staffers.
Even a great premium item, thoughtfully handled and promoted, can make a difference in how visitors remember you. For example, I’ve talked in this blog before about how a clever two-part premium can increase booth traffic: one part gets mailed to prospects before the show with a letter inviting them to visit your exhibit to receive the other part.
Or you can use it to enhance memorability by providing one half of the premium at the show. Your salesperson can deliver the other part when they call on the prospect after the event.
All of these tips can help increase booth traffic and memorability. But beware: you don’t want traffic for traffic’s sake. You want qualified people in your exhibit. So make sure you’re not doing something that’s going to draw a crowd, but then do nothing at all to qualify those people.
One of the reasons we write this blog each week is to help you get great results every time you exhibit at a show. That’s why we offer the tips and techniques you find here week after week. Another reason is to remind you that if your exhibit isn’t helping you bring in the right kind of trade show visitors, we can help.
American Image Displays can provide anything you need in the way of exhibits and accessories to create a booth that tells your story effectively and attracts attention at every show. To learn more, call us at (888) 977-8076 or email [email protected]